Monday 20 February 2017

'Slab' conviction cannot be hailed as a victory over cross-border crime

We are still a long way from erasing the fear that was wreaked by 'untouchable' dissident­republicans, writes Dearbhail McDonald

Published 20/12/2015 | 02:30

Thomas 'Slab' Murphy. Photo: Court Collins
Thomas 'Slab' Murphy. Photo: Court Collins

Politicians of all hues are constantly falling over each other to prove who is "toughest" on crime.

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The 'solutions' they propose (internment and the like) are at times extreme - Trumpesque, if you like - but nothing is off the table, especially in the run up to a general election. It's hard to believe, but we've been in a permanent state of emergency since 1939 and we introduce special powers like snuff at a wake.

And yet often it's the little things that are the major game changers. Intelligent innovations the likes of which led to last week's landmark conviction, for tax fraud, of Thomas 'Slab' Murphy (inset), the ethereal Republican icon lauded by Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

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